Hey team! Okay, we’re back. Another Workshop Wednesday. Another beautiful crisp morning this fall and I’m excited to be here with you guys again this morning.
I wanted to talk to you about some stuff I’ve been reading here lately. One of the statements I read on a tree farm’s wall. It said “The best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today.” I want to think about that for a second. It’s true, right?
The best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago.
What does that mean? Well, plant a tree 25 years ago and you have fruit. You have shade. I lived in Hood River Oregon for a period of time, my wife and I, when we first got married. You would see these orchards. When they plant a baby apple tree or baby pear tree or cherry tree. They plant a field of maybe 5, 10, or 15 acres. They’re going to work and till that field for seven years before they see fruit. It’s going to be more than 15 to 20 years before it is in full-time production of mass crop quantity. That’s amazing. So they work very hard for years for a harvest that is in some cases, two decades from now.
And that’s my point. The things that we do, right? Longfellow said that the goal of the apple tree is to add a little bit more wood every year. And he followed up to say, “And that’s what I’m going to do.”
Add a little bit more to your life every day. Add a little more wood.
It’s not about what you plan to do and what you hope to do in the future. It’s great to have a dream. And it’s great to have a vision, it’s great to write down that vision. It’s great to communicate that vision. It’s great to focus on and to open that up again. Trust me, I’m an optimist. I love continuing to look down the road and take inventory of things I need to course-correct and change as I move forward. But as I’m getting older, I’m realizing that to get to that tomorrow it’s the incremental little things that I add to my life every day.
The things that I focus on every day.
When I started teaching leadership classes seven years ago, eight years ago at our office. I had a vision or a dream seven, eight years ago of what it might do and I believed it would do this. Here we are seven, eight years later and I’m just starting to see that little green sprout poke up out of the dirt.
Some of you might be thinking, “We have a pretty amazing team, Chad. How can you say that we’re so young and we’ve barely started?” Because I’m an optimist and I see way down the road. I see this flourishing great huge giant monstrosity of an oak tree out in the field in my head. But right now, we have an acorn that just popped open. The ground has been tilled and it’s been fertilized.
The little sprout is starting to pop up out of the ground.
This is not me putting us down, guys. It’s not me putting you down. This is me saying that we have only begun to scratch the surface of greatness. It’s going to take continued effort and growth. We are not producing fruit yet. Not in the quantities of fully grown excellent vibrant trees.
We’re getting there and we’re making more progress. We’re seeing more tangible fruit happen in life around us but we’re not there yet. And that’s kind of a glorious thing because if it’s good now and it’s getting better now, imagine what it’s going to be like in another decade.
I mean, who knows? They might create hair transplants. I might have hair again. All right, I’m kidding. It’s a beautiful early morning and I get a little bit sarcastic and crazy early in the morning and I know most of you are saying, “Chad, I think you’re sarcastic all the time and a little bit weird.” You might be just right about that.
On this Workshop Wednesday guys, add a little bit more wood. Make consistent progress in your life in the areas that you’re looking to grow. Consistently keep adding wood, as Longfellow said, and you’ll get there. You will keep making that progress and you will keep getting there. I have faith in you. I have faith in us and remember, be valuable because nothing less will do.
God bless you, guys. See you next week.